Baseball and Softball Teams Start Practice
Will Rossmiller
wross460@uwsp.edu - twitter @willrossmiller
baseball-color-mitch-capelle-copy.jpg

Spring doesn’t appear to be coming anytime soon, but both the baseball and softball teams have been practicing in the Multi-Activity center since early February.

Both teams get about 12 hours a week to practice. While the indoor practices may not be ideal, the teams are excited to be back playing the games they love.

“Indoor practices are fun right away because everyone is excited to get started right away after the four-month break after our fall season,” said team captain Jacob Herbst, a senior pitcher.

The excitement does eventually wear off, as some challenges that come with practicing indoors.

“I would say that space is the biggest challenge,” said Pat Bloom, head coach of the baseball team. “It’s impossible to replicate a real field.”

It’s also difficult to simulate fly balls for both teams. “It can sometimes be a challenge to get a good pop-up without hitting the ceiling or other objects that are hanging up there,” said Michelle Jones, a senior pitcher for the softball team.

However, dwelling on the negatives of indoor practice doesn’t help anything. “You have to look to find advantages because it’s reality,” Bloom said.

“Some good things about practice are that we do not have to worry about bad weather,” Herbst said. “Another good thing is that there are two cages inside for the hitters instead of one outside.”

“We are lucky here at Point that we have an indoor facility that we can use,” Jones said. “It is a large enough space where we can do almost everything that we need to.”

softball-1-color-mitch-capelle.jpg“Our first six games this weekend are indoors in a dome, so it is beneficial to be practicing in a controlled environment,” said Bekah Rennicke, a junior on the softball team.

Head softball coach Jill Millis also likes to take advantage of the classrooms that come with indoor practice.

“An advantage to being inside is that we have easier access to classrooms for watching videos and going over things on the white board,” Millis said.

Bloom explained that indoor practice also helps him be efficient and think of drills to work in the space. “You try to find some of those diamonds in the rough when you know you’re not in an optimal climate,” Bloom said.

Bloom may find the indoor practices challenging, but he is always appreciative of what facilities are available for the team.

“We are grateful of what we have with the Multi-Activity center,” Bloom said. “It’s not as limiting a factor as it is at other schools.”

Bloom said that their facilities actually give them an advantage over other teams because of the quality of facilities.

Indoor practices may not be ideal, but the athletes accept that they are a part of playing spring sports in Wisconsin.

“Given where we live, indoor practices are inevitable,” Rennicke said. “I wish we could be outside all year, but indoor practices allow us to focus on the fundamentals of softball and getting stronger.”

Usually, the teams won’t able to get outdoors to practice until after they get back from their spring break games. Last year was an exception, as both teams were able to get outside before they went down to Florida.

The softball team opens the season this weekend with six games in the Superior Dome in Marquette, Michigan.

The baseball team won’t see action until March 10th, in the Metrodome against Gustavus Adolphus.